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Is unemployment an employee right?

If you have been let go or fired from a job in Minnesota, you may be wondering if receiving unemployment benefits is considered an employee right. Employee rights are legally protected obligations which employers cannot refuse to provide to their workers. In Minnesota, unemployment is not considered a right in many situations.

If your employer meets certain statutory guidelines, they are legally obligated to maintain their presence in the state unemployment insurance program. This insurance tax is used to pay unemployment benefits if and when any of their employees apply for benefits and are considered eligible to receive them. However, just because your employer complies with the law does not guarantee that you will receive the benefits.

Unemployment payments are only offered to certain workers who demonstrate their need as well as their work ethic. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, in order to be eligible for these benefits, you must meet the following criteria:

  •          You are authorized to work in the U.S.
  •          You were fired, have reduced work hours or were let go due to events outside of your control.
  •          You have at least 52 weeks of recent work time to use as a base period for determining your benefit amount.
  •          You are actively seeking employment and are able and willing to begin appropriate work immediately.

Workers who fail to meet these standards are not considered eligible for unemployment benefits. Additionally, due to the nature of these benefits, they are only temporary. Even if you do receive them, they are not offered on a perpetual basis. This information is intended as educational only and should not be mistaken for legal advice.

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